Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fashion In Paradise

I’m finding that working all week in a structured environment (an embassy is pretty freakin’ structured) is making me crave my old life of creating, dreaming, thrifting, and yes, Blogging! 

So recently, my creating & dreaming fancies were fulfilled via the South Pacific’s annual (and one-and-only) Fiji Fashion Week.

I believe this was the 8th anniversary of Fiji Fashion Week.  
It’s a week where our tiny little Suva gets turned upside down, as there is a frenzy to find your best dress, grab your best buds, and spend every night sitting along the sides of a fashion-filled runway.

It’s a tough assignment, but I’ll take it!

Last year was my first FFW experience, and I didn’t expect much going into it.  I was so blown away at what an amazing event it actually is.  Truly beautiful fashion, professional designers 
and healthy, glowing models (yes, they do exist!).

The big kick-off was the annual charity luncheon. This year’s theme was the groovy 70’s.

We even made it into the local paper.  Woohoo!
And then it was show time. 
Here are a few of my favorites! (all logo photos are via local photographer, FotoFusion)

by Rako Designs

by Fiji Tall

by FNU design students!

by Pacific Island Arts

by Robert Kennedy

by Jennifer Jenkinson

by Rako Designs

by Moira Solvalu John

KuiViti by Epeli Tuibeqa

One of the most unique features of the week is the children’s show.  

This isn’t just a show where they feature adorable clothing for children, it’s a show where they also feature young designers.

This pair of best buds designed together for this year's show - they are 9 years old!

My daughter’s classmate, Jade (age 10),  has been a featured designer for FFW for a few years now. This year Jade presented another fun & funky line.

Her models are always her classmates, which makes it all the more fun. 

Here they are!

and here is my wee one..
 her dress was made of chicken wire & fabric scraps!

and the lovely designer herself, Ms. Jade

Last but not least, here are some after party pics!

(switching to Fiji water after lots of Bubbles!)

So that's my recap of this year's Fiji Fashion Week.
Here's hoping that my work schedule and life lend a little more time to more frequent blogging!

Cheers from little ol' Fiji!

Friday, February 27, 2015

A recap of our first year. In Fiji.

I always thought that time flew by in the first-world States, but oh my.  Island life is slow, but time here manages to sneak right by you.

We've been here in Fiji for a year?!

I had some great intentions to blog like a mad woman, about life in Fiji.  As I walked through our first year here, I had ideas of potential blog posts rolling through my mind every single day...

-Buying 4 days worth of groceries requires trips to 11 different stores.  Seriously.
-Taxi drivers need criminal charges.
-What to do in a cheese shortage?  (answer:  try not to lose your mind).
-Customer service hasn’t reached the south Pacific yet.
-Wearing flip flops 365 days a year does not get old.  Ever.
-How to pull off groovy Pinterest projects with no access to Home Depot.  (or Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn's, or Target, or Walmart).  ..I think I just heard someone gasp...

But since I completely wasted my first year here with grocery shopping, yelling at taxi drivers, hunting for cheese, and painting my toenails, blogging never made it to the top of my to-do list.
So here are my thoughts on our first year here.

Everyday Life.

Fiji Water is for real, and it's on every shelf.
Paddling with an outrigger crew is just as fun as it looks!
Carnivals here are definitely old school.  Especially the rides.
You have to be a huge fan of turkey to spend this for Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, we're huge fans.
Monkeyin' around at the market.
My fresh flower helper.
Need some scented oils for the home?  
Here ya go.
Buying meat in Fiji is....different.
 Sometimes they speak Texan here!
Good news.  Coffee in Fiji is fabulous.
And there's not one single Starbucks.  (hallelujah!!)

Having your kids leave the most amazing school (on the planet) and move across the world to an international school in a developing country is scary.  But we’re glad we did it.  Although we may have to do some tutoring when we head back to the States, our kids are incredibly happy, more independent and balanced, than ever. 

Learning about traditional Fijian culture.
 Celebrating Diwali at school.
 Little martial arts mama.
Always working with the PTA, 
no matter where we are!

I’m amazed that in such a short time I’ve been truly blessed to have met some really wonderful people, and from all over the world.  I enjoy our different world views about life, politics, religion, foods, education, and raising kids. 

An ABBA themed fundraising night.  
Dancing queens...
 A lovely evening out with some French culture.
 Just a good ol' ladies night!
 Fun Day at the International school.
 Recipe club!  I've found my fellow foodies!

We live in Suva.  
This is Suva.  A port.

It’s not the beach, nor is there a beach nearby, but this is where we call “home” for now.
We’re not living in a bure over blue water, but we can definitely get to that blue water a whole lot faster than when we were Stateside.

Here are some of our favorite pics from our resort &  beach time.

 Yes, I've found my happy place.
 A trampoline.  On the ocean!!
 Having a drink at the bar.  With the kids?
 Unidentified sea life.
 Monkeys, doin' what monkeys do.
 Home is far, far away!
 You can have a whole lotta fun with pineapple and coconuts!
 My snorkel buddy.

And because we’re on this side of the world these days, we’re taking a family vacation through Asia soon!  This is something we most probably would have never done while living Stateside.

Island life has it's third-world challenges, but there are wonderful aspects of living down here.

We do miss home. 

Our once a week "mail day" from the States is quite exciting!

And something completely new to us, is that I'm now working!  For the first time in 10 years!  But that's for another blog, another day.

Here's a day at the office:

That's about it for my first year update.  
Thanks for tuning in!

If you're living where the temps are frigid, my best advice is to book a flight!

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